For the last few weeks it feels like all I have done is come to this space and complain. I think I may have lost sight of why I created this blog, what I was hoping to achieve and through that I have also lost my own reasons for recovery. I have allowed myself to be swallowed up by the days, by my hate and by my sadness. I am not proud of those things. I am not exactly happy that however many years down the line, I find myself still gripped by or clinging to the Eating Disorder. It is a soul sucking illness and the ways that it can try to break you are limitless. It makes you tear yourself apart and you have to kind of be amazed of it’s methods as a disorder, I mean it doesn’t just destroy you…it gets in to your head and then sits back whilst you do the work and dismantle yourself. It works in opposition in some ways to the rest of society. The world tells us that to be happy, to be ok, to be liked…to be anything then we need to add more. We need to buy more stuff, learn more, fill our schedules with more. We are a generation of excess who live with the belief that who we are and what we are is never enough. We can always strive for better. Anorexia tells us something different. To achieve those same states of happiness, ok-ness, likeability then we have to be less. We have to reduce or minimise or quieten ourselves if we ever dream of reaching those things. The weight loss which is often a symptom of an Eating Disorder is only one outcome. We also have to lose our friends, our dreams, our aspirations and then we get the consequences of our losses. We begin to lose our intellect, our cognitive abilities, our physical strength, our autonomy, choice, freedom and then far too frequently our lives. We all know that death is a real outcome of these disorders but I think it’s often forgotten that prior to that, there are many who have been dying by degrees for years.
So when do we say enough is enough?
Clearly we can see that an Eating Disorder is essentially one big lie. Although we may be able to twist our logic to it, if there was truth in the things that it tells us then we would reach the day in which we would be able to stop. We could decide to just walk away or we’d find that elusive happy and it would be unnecessary to continue. Yet all I have found is myself moving further way from being ok and the deeper I got in, the more I hurt which made me want to take away more and be less. All I ever wanted was peace of mind but as my brain reached a state of starvation, it became more frantic and desperate. I have said this before and I will say it again now. An Eating Disorder is incompatible with life. You can’t have both and expect there to ever be a good outcome. I’m still trying to learn that. I’m still trying to mould my thinking into understanding that despite what the world tells us that we are capable of having everything, it isn’t true. We can’t actively participate in our death and claim to want to live. It’s just one big contradiction.
I’m going to ask you to take a moment and really think about your belief system. What are you hoping that your Eating Disorder will help you achieve? What lies has it been telling you? Recognise them for what they are and move on. You want love? safety? a feeling of being an ok and valid human being you do, if you think starving yourself is going to get you those things then I’m going to tell you that you’re wrong. I chose Recovery because I was tired. I chose it because killing myself wasn’t all that I wanted anymore and I knew that as long as I continued to be engaged in the disorder than that was what was going to happen. I suppose then that’s what it comes down to on those days that I doubt recovery or I don’t want it…the simple question of: Do I want to live or die? and if so how do I want to live?
I hope your day is kind to you.